WINDSOR – A 36-point fourth quarter capped off a wild matchup between Newington football and Windsor on Friday at Jack O'Brien Stadium.
The Warriors ended up taking the victory with three touchdowns to the Nor'easters' two in the final frame, which followed a scoreless third quarter of play.
Down 35-28, Newington nearly forced overtime as it got the ball back late in the game after Windsor fumbled in the red zone, however quarterback Padraig Brown threw an interception two plays later to serve the Warriors its eventual game-winning score.
The Nor'easters cut it down to one touchdown yet again with a long touchdown grab from Josiah Ross, but it was too little too late for Newington as Windsor just had to take a knee to run out the clock during the game's final possession.
“It was a slow third quarter and then things really picked up that fourth quarter,” Nor'easters coach Jason Pace said. “We fought, we were with them down at the end. We fought back and at least made it interesting to finish.”
The Warriors' Shawn Bell scored the first TD of the last quarter on a five-yard run with 8:20 left. A three and out from Newington forced a punt the next possession, which Windsor's Raymond Rodriguez took to the house from 65 yards out to put the hosts ahead 35-21.
The Nor'easters didn't go away though as it responded the very next drive with a 50-yard touchdown catch from Austyn Howe. With 4:27 left, Newington kept forcing the Warriors to make plays and a fumble from Bell on their next possession gave the Nor'easters all the momentum.
Unfortunately for Newington, a smart read from Windsor's Kyshawn Adger caused the late pick from Brown and counted as the final gut-punch of the night from the Warriors.
Bell proceeded to scamper into the end zone from 10 yards out and a successful two-point conversion with 1:29 remaining gave Windsor its eight win of the season.
“I said it to them when we broke the huddle, I'm so proud of the way they fought to the very end and just showed that they don't give up, they don't back down, they just play with their hearts,” Pace said.
Friday's loss moves the Nor'easters record to 6-3 and out of playoff position in Class L with one game left. Newington will host Wethersfield on Nov. 24 and will look to close out the season on top against its rivals.
“They'll be ready to go,” Pace said. “They know how important that game is and they'll want to finish 1-0 and finish the season strong. The seniors, I know they're going to want to go out on top and everyone else will want to do it for them, so we'll finish strong.”
The Eagles also are outside of the Class L playoff picture at 6-3 after its 16-13 loss to Middletown on Friday bumped them down to No. 16.
Ryan Ames can be reached at 860-801-5094 or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.